Nkurunziza’s choice: transfer of power or survival ruse?

Evariste Ndayishimiye was on 26 January 2020 selected as the presidential candidate for the CNDD-FDD ruling party.  Many people believe that the 2020 elections are not INCLUSIVE, as hundreds of thousands of Burundians have been forced into exile. The line of argument is that the elections are based on the new flawed constitution   adopted in 2018 and there is no value to hold elections for the sake of elections as it is meaningless and not a test for democracy.

But is the democratic elections President Nkurunziza’s priority?  President Nkurunziza is about the plunge into a difficult period in the run-up to the end of his term in office just few months to count. He will then have to hand over the reins to Gen Evariste Ndayishimiye. However, another option is also increasingly being floated: just deferring elections, for some period by funding problems as a pretext.

As he enters into this turbulence, it is difficult for him to get someone who can rally the fractious political elite around him, so they can back whatever delays or legal changes he wants to push through. General Evariste Ndayishimiye  though  he yields much respect among his fellow generals  but again is considered as Nkurunziza’s   puppet  and someone so attached to Nkurunziza’s family as he shares same background with Nkurunziza’s wife both being natives of Gitega. 

Secondly he does not have much of a political base or the ability to mobilize key power-brokers. What’s more, he has angered many followers of Catholic Church and often attacked members of the International community accusing them of being imperialists and driven for regime change.

In other words, he has made a lot of enemies within the International community and within the party knowing that he is just someone appointed by Nkurunziza. During his tenure as the party Secretary General, he was characterized by abusive language and intimidations towards opponents either within the party or outside the party.

Political observers are of the view that a real important and meaningful step towards a better Burundi would be an inclusive process that reconciles all warring parties, ensures safety and security for all Burundians and provides a visionary path to economic development in Burundi.

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